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Device Programming: From Start to Finish
Have you ever wondered how your smartphone was made? Or what kind of technology goes into transferring data from a USB drive to your computer? Almost every single electronic device that we use has some form of flash memory and was programmed to perform a specific function. Sure it is a very complicated process, but in short, device programming takes place in just a few steps.
It all starts with three simple ideas: connecting a microchip to a computer, writing the code, and uploading the code to the chip. Usually, this process is completed in large-scale commercial terms, but this process can be replicated individually to show how the process works. You can program your own chip right at home if you wanted to. To start, you will need to purchase a microchip from your local electronics store. Usually these microcontroller chip kits come with everything you will need (other than a computer of course), but in case it doesn’t come in a kit you will need: a microcontroller chip, USB cable, a bread board, LED lights and resistors, speakers, and a motor. Start by opening your code program and make sure that it is programmed to the make and model of your chip. Decide what you want your chip to be able to do, and write the code and loop for the action you want your microcontroller to take. You could make a garage door opener, a smartphone, a remote controlled car, a gaming system, a digital clock, parking assistant, robot, locking systems, and just about anything else you can think of. Take the USB cable and plug it into the microcontroller. At this time you should see it light up and turn on. Upload the code that you wrote over the correct com port over to the chip. Unplug the chip, connect it to the power source, and watch your code come to life.
Device programming on a commercial scale is far more impressive because it will take these three basic steps and completes them in the matter of seconds on several different chips. This is how we can have such readily accessible electronics for relatively low cost. Some of the greatest electronics that we use today started with a simple microchip and evolved into the devices that we use every single day.
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